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What Did She Die of? “The Story of an Hour” in the Middle East Classroom

  • Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar
  • Geetha Rajeswar
Chapter
  • 151 Downloads
Part of the American Literature Readings in the Twenty-First Century book series (ALTC)

Abstract

Kate Chopin’s work is often read as a critique of nineteenth-century marriage and gender roles; it’s also used in the curriculum because of its accessibility for beginning readers or nonnative speakers of English. In particular, “The Story of an Hour” has been taught in a variety of settings as an example of American short fiction. This classic example of form is concise, yet takes the reader on a great emotional journey; the surprise twist at the end is an excellent example of dramatic irony, which can also be used to assess reading comprehension. The reversal is indicative of the short story genre as established by early twentieth-century male writers including Guy Maupassant and O. Henry (Chongyue and Lihua 1). Despite its brevity, this narrative presents complex and subtle sentiments about marriage and the role of the wife in domesticity that often resonate with student readers. The idea that literature connects readers to their own life is not a new idea; readers respond to specific themes and focus their analysis around ideas that resonate with their own cultures (Diederich 116).

Keywords

Gender Role Short Story Unexpected Death Class Assignment Figurative Language 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Works Cited

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Copyright information

© Heather Ostman and Kate O’Donoghue 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar
  • Geetha Rajeswar

There are no affiliations available

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